What causes sleep apnea

Sleep apnea and heart failure

Not least because of this, it is extremely important to have sleep apneato recognize in time and treat. Breathing interruptions often go unnoticed, but there aresome symptomsthat indicate sleep apnea:

  • Snoring, especially if it's done irregularly
  • The adapted diet
  • Headache, especially in the morning
  • a dry mouth and / or sore throat in the morning
  • constant, pronounced exhaustion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • sexual aversion
  • Depression and / or anxiety
  • increased tendency to sleep during the day
  • Weight gain

Development and treatment of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea, i.e. regular interruptions in breathing at night, arise primarily from the fact that those affected have theNarrow or close airways. Possible causes include:

  • short-term factors, such as respiratory infections or allergies
  • Obesity
  • Headache, especially in the morning
  • abnormal changes, for example enlarged tonsils
  • a sinking back of the tongue due to the relaxation of the mouth and throat muscles during sleep

If the breathing air can then no longer flow unhindered through the airways, this results in an increased breathing speed on the one hand, but also on the otherNegative pressure in the pharynx - which in turn can not only trigger the characteristic snoring, but also a collapse of the windpipe with associated breathing pauses.

Special form: Central sleep apnea

In central sleep apnea, the symptoms are not caused by obstruction of the airways, but rather by incorrect control of the respiratory muscles. It mainly occurs in the elderly.

Once sleep apnea is suspected, most patients spend a night or two in the sleep laboratory after a consultation with the doctor and extensive physical examinations. There, experts can precisely track sleep and evaluate the recorded data.

Stand in the treatmentvarious means and methods available: For example, special bite splints should prevent the tongue or jaw from sinking back. Usually, however, the so-calledPositive airway pressure therapy for use. A special mask creates overpressure in the airways and prevents the typical breathing disorders associated with sleep apnea. Permanent constrictions of the airways can also be removed surgically. In most cases, factors such as good sleep hygiene (for example, going to sleep at the same times and not watching TV in bed), sleeping on your side, reducing obesity and avoiding drugs that promote sleep apnea also have a positive effect on sleep quality.